ACA Strategic Plan - An Update

Steve Kennedy , 7 March 2015

The ACA has achieved an enormous amount since it released a new Strategic Plan in 2012. National President, Steve Kennedy, outlines the achievements to date.

In June 2012 the ACA released its new Strategic Plan for the organisation. As we said at the time, the plan, which came out of nearly 12 months of discourse with our membership throughout Australia, “set a path for our organisation that was clear, unambiguous and focused”. That was

“to represent the business interests of those practising architecture in Australia.”

And to provide

“a single national organisation focused exclusively on the industrial and business issues faced by those operating architectural practices in Australia”

So what have we achieved in the intervening period?

Thankfully, the answer is “a lot”. We have introduced a vast array of organisational efficiencies and processes, attracted sponsors, established closer ties and dialogue between the branches and generally brought the organisation into a coherent single entity.

Importantly, we have also significantly raised the level of discourse, focus, understanding and awareness of the importance of the architectural industry in the country.

And we have given this new identity a name – The Business of Architecture.

This is what the ACA is about – addressing the myriad issues facing anyone involved in running an architectural business in the ever-changing landscape of our industry.

We believe that our responsibility is to assist and inform our members, our clients, the public and the government about what is not only important to enable the effective operation of the architectural industry in this country but also, what is in the best interests of the nation. Always, within the framework of The Business of Architecture.

And – I am pleased to say – we are doing it pretty well. Let me give you a few examples of things we have achieved:

  • As a counterpart to this website, we now issue one of the best and most informative business-focussed online newsletters/magazines you will find anywhere. It’s an educational tool in itself.
  • We now run an annual survey on employment and salaries and not only publish the results via this website, but also provide every participating member with an individualised report showing where they sit within the industry.
  • We are currently working with state governments across Australia to establish fair, equitable and nationally consistent procurements practices.
  • We have written and are about to publish a national, step-by-step Guide for the Briefing and Engagement of architectural services.
  • We have just launched a standard Professional Services Sub-consultants Agreement for use by architects as lead consultants.
  • We are now running a bi-monthly national webinar program on business issues, which provides equal access to all members simultaneously across the entire country. It is the first of its kind.
  • We have just received funding to commence a study into the architectural industry in South Australia that is the pilot for an annual ACA State of the Industry Report
  • We are collaborating with our colleagues in a number of sibling organisations, including the Australian Institute of Architects, Consult Australia and the Association of Quantity Surveyors, on a range of activities that a relevant to all our organisations.


The release of this guide, which has taken several years work to produce, is probably the most significant event of its type for the architectural industry in the last decade. It is a potential game changer and something everyone has been asking for.

For a voluntary organisation that is a pretty significant set of achievements in a short timeframe. There is a lot more in train, but all of the above is happening now. The impact of this work is being seen and felt across the country – especially in terms of the recognition of the ACA’s importance and capacity to influence opinion and meaningfully advocate for our industry.

So, I am pleased to report that the ACA is succeeding in delivering the four pillars of our mission statement:

  1. Research, review and communicate the metrics of architectural business, utilising best practice industry benchmarking
  2. Be recognised as the key industrial spokesperson representing the architectural profession at National and State levels of Government
  3. Advocate proactively on behalf of the profession to empower the business of architecture as a key role in the formation of our built environment
  4. Be the first point of reference for key business issues. For example: Employment Contracts, Redundancy, Industrial Relations, OHS, Standards and Contracts (namely, AS 4122; Sub-Contractor Agreements).

Steve Kennedy is the National President of the ACA, and the President of ACA – NSW/ACT.